Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Social Change
Launch a career designing and managing local and global development initiatives that address critical issues where social change is sorely needed like poverty, disaster relief, education, and health.
Our Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Social Change is specifically designed to give you real-world experience before you graduate, culminating in a semesterlong practicum working for an organization like Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. State Department, a range of NGOs, and private companies.
Fall or Spring
Find out if MPA is right for you
Study On-Site and/or Online
Your courses are available in person and online. You may start and complete your entire degree program remotely if you pursue full-time enrollment in the 12-month option—please note that many of your online courses will be live (synchronous) so you will have to keep time zones in mind. The faculty, curriculum, and per-credit cost are the same for both formats so you will have the flexibility to study online or in person, or easily switch between the two experiences as your personal and professional needs allow.
Launch Your Career
Career and Academic Advising
Your career and academic advising are integrated, ensuring you align your coursework with your career goals. Our experienced advisors will guide you from course registration to preparing for interviews, negotiating your employment offers, and managing your career.
Our large and influential alumni network in California, Washington, D.C., and other centers of local and global development is eager to help you prepare for your next steps. Our Middlebury in DC office provides the entire Middlebury community with a wealth of resources. Furthermore, our annual Career Exploration Week in the nation’s capital gives you facilitated and direct access to D.C.-based employers and our alumni who help us to plan the event.
Our graduates are often hired before they complete their program, leveraging real-world projects from their classes, internships, and practica to showcase their relevant professional experience. They are thriving in careers at organizations like the United Nations, Catholic Relief Services, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Explore careers in public administration.
42 -credit master’s
12 -month option
16 -month option
We prepare you for long-term professional success through courses in organizational and program management and leadership. You will develop a well-rounded set of competencies in finance, evaluation, data analysis, social change, and more. You will be prepared to lead and collaborate in project teams, specialized departments, or organizations that work for social change, including NGOs, governments, and UN agencies around the world.
Local Meets Global
Your case studies, class projects, intercultural training, and language studies will enrich you with local, regional, and global contexts. You will learn to translate ambitious missions and goals into impactful social change programs by engaging in intimate discussions, hands-on projects, and fieldwork that may take you as far as Rwanda or as close as the challenges of central California.
Your classes will often feature work with real clients, allowing you to develop practical skills before you graduate. The final semester practicum can be completed remotely in the summer, spring, or fall semester. You can earn your degree in 12 consecutive months to accelerate your return to the workforce or in 16 months giving you the flexibility to gain more practical experience via summer internships.
The flexibility in our curriculum gives you opportunities to customize your degree through career-related electives, a professional practicum, internships, studying a second language and/or intercultural competence, joint degrees, optional specializations in financial crime management and other in-demand fields, and Peace Corps integrations.
While other graduate schools rely on teaching assistants, our students have direct access to our faculty, who combine academic expertise with years of professional experience in major international organizations, including UNCHR (the UN Refugee Agency), USAID, the World Bank, and the U.S. State Department.
Your professors are committed to your success and, together with your career and academic advisor, will become your mentors and colleagues throughout your career.
The Digital Learning Commons is your campus hub for technology, creative problem solving, exploration, and peer-to-peer teaching and learning.
Financing Your Education
We offer a variety of resources to make your program more affordable including merit, need-based, partner, and external scholarships for both U.S. and international students. Your personal enrollment advisor is also available to help you think through financing this important investment in your career development.
The 12-month and 16-month options for this program allow you to get back into the workforce—earning a salary—faster and to potentially save on housing costs.
We take a holistic approach when considering your application, looking at your academic background, international exposure, professional experience, and career goals. We welcome applicants with or without work experience, and our program has numerous opportunities for you to gain professional experience before you graduate. This approach aligns with the Institute’s core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We do not require GRE or GMAT scores for our master’s programs but competitive scores may strengthen your application and positively influence scholarship decisions.
The Middlebury Institute’s annual Washington, D.C.-focused Career Exploration Week offers students the opportunity to interact with alumni and others responsible for hiring at prospective government, non-profit, and private sector employers in their fields.